Missouri solar panels: local pricing and installation data

Over 15,000 homeowners in Missouri have used EnergySage to receive & compare solar panel installation quotes!

Updated 2/24/2024

Solar Data Explorer:

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Solar installation costs do not include the 30% federal investment tax credit or local incentives.

Save money by installing solar panels in MO.

Utility solar energy rebates and significant environmental benefits mean that homeowners in the Show Me State are all about solar power.

Solar in Missouri

Simple map of Missouri with a map pin showing a roof with installed solar panels

The solar energy incentives in Missouri have helped this Midwest state to gain recognition for more than the famous Gateway Arch. Missourians now have access to a wide variety of solar energy rebates from their utilities and solar homeowners in Missouri are provided a solar property tax exemption. Going solar is an easy decision with all of the solar incentives the Show Me State has to offer.

How much do solar panels cost in Missouri?

The average cost of a solar panel installation in Missouri ranges from $11,475 to $15,525. On a cost per watt ($/W) basis, a solar panel installation in Missouri ranges in price from $2.30 to $3.10. See how Missouri compares to solar panel costs across the U.S.

How long does it take to earn back your initial investment in solar panels? A solar payback period is the amount of time it takes for property owners who install solar panels to recover their initial investment through electricity savings. In Missouri, the average solar payback period is 11.68 years.

Regardless of the exact cost of installation, there are many affordable financing options for solar panel systems. Cash purchases are one common method to pay for solar and often lead to the most long-term value for your money. If an upfront purchase isn’t right for you, solar loans and solar lease/PPAs are available to help finance a solar energy system.

See the cost of solar in MO cities and towns

$11,475 – $15,525

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What solar panels should I install in Missouri?

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For property owners, you now can customize your solar panels, inverters, racking systems, and batteries, as well as the general aesthetic of the installation. This customizability has made it important for solar consumers to understand these various factors. For example, the best solar panels available may have premium efficiencies and warranties, but will typically be more costly. However, depending on the size of the installation, you’ll need to determine whether high-efficiency solar panels that can produce more electricity are worthwhile. Also, your appetite for risk can help determine which solar warranties best fit your needs. These are just a few of the many factors to consider when selecting solar panel equipment.

How much energy can I get from solar in Missouri?

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Aside from the power output of the solar equipment you choose to install, the amount of energy you generate with solar panels in Missouri is directly related to the amount of sunlight that hits your panels. Fortunately for homeowners in Missouri, the Show Me State ranks in the top half of all US states for average peak sun hours, with almost 5 peak hours of sunlight per day.

There are additional factors that determine how much solar electricity you can produce. These include shading and panel angle, which are used to calculate your total production estimate. a prediction of how much energy your solar installation will produce over time. This evaluation offers a clear estimate of how much energy your solar installation will produce. You can see how much solar panels can save you based on factors like geographic location and shading by using the EnergySage Solar Calculator.

Missouri solar incentives

Solar incentives in Missouri can help you reduce the overall price of going solar. Learn more about why solar panels are such a great investment in Missouri.

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What rebates and incentives are there in Missouri for solar?

The federal investment tax credit, now referred to as the Residential Clean Energy Credit for residential systems, has been one of the most reliable and impactful incentives for solar across the U.S. This solar incentive allows you to deduct 30 percent of the total system cost from your federal taxes. For example, a solar energy system installation that costs $15,000 out of pocket will qualify for a tax deduction of $4,500. For residential systems, this advantageous incentive lasts until the end of 2032 at which point it steps down to 26 percent. The federal ITC drops to 22 percent in 2034 and is eliminated for residential solar installations in 2035. Commercial systems are eligible at least through 2024, but may not be eligible for the full 30 percent depending on certain labor and domestic manufacturing requirements; they also may be eligible for specific ITC adders.

Besides the federal ITC, Missouri has additional incentives for going solar that are dependent on your area and utility company. Of note is the wide availability of solar rebate programs such as: Columbia Water and Light, Kansas City Power and Light, and Empire District Electric solar rebates. Additionally, Missouri offers solar property tax exemption. To learn more about Missouri’s best financial incentives for solar, check out our complete overview of the state’s best solar incentives.

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History of solar policy in Missouri

Missouri has undertaken major steps to transition towards a clean energy state. In fact, the fastest growing job for Missouri residents in from 2017 to 2019 was solar panel installer, according to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Missouri’s surge in its solar industry catapulted Missouri from 41st in 2017 up to 29th in 2018 in SEIA’s national solar rankings. While decreasing solar costs along with increased consumer demand have been significant aspects of this rapid growth, the Show Me State deserves a lot of credit for crafting effective solar policies that have and will continue to support the clean energy industry.

The first solar policy enacted in Missouri dates back to 1979, when the state implemented Solar Easements & Rights Laws. Although this policy didn’t focus on financial incentives, it recognized that solar energy usage is a property right, legitimizing the use of the technology throughout the state.

In the mid-2000s, Missouri renewed its interest in solar and began to implement further solar policy laws. The most transformative policy that Missouri passed is their net metering program, which the state enacted in 2007. Net metering mandates that utilities credit any net excess generation to customers with solar energy systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW). In Missouri, residents only receive the avoided cost rate, rather than the higher retail rate (as is the case in other states), for being net energy exporters. Regardless, net metering remains a key fixture in Missouri’s collection of solar policy.

The second instrumental policy that Missouri would pass to encourage solar came only a year later in 2008 when voters approved the Missouri Clean Energy Act, which set a mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Specifically, this initiative required that state’s utilities to supply 15 percent of their electricity through renewable energy by 2021. Even more importantly for solar energy, the RPS detailed a carve-out for this technology of 0.3 percent by 2021 as well. Besides guaranteeing solar and renewable energy growth in Missouri, the state’s RPS further benefits residents because utilities are compelled to offer financial incentives to go solar so they avoid these harsh fines.

The result is a strong solar rebate program provided by each of the three major state utilities in Missouri. For example, Columbia Water & Light offers solar shoppers in their jurisdiction a payment of $500 per kilowatt (kW) of solar power generation capacity (up to 10kW). For those supplied by Kansas City Power & Light, eligible customers have been able to take advantage of a rebate payment system of up to $1 per watt ($1,000 per kW) of solar power installed on their home. And, finally, Empire District Electric made it easier to go solar by offering customers a solar rebate of up to $2/W ($2,000 per kW), depending on the installation date and rebate application date.

Additionally, Missouri passed additional regulatory incentives to encourage solar development. For instance in 2010, the state enacted Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in order to provide affordable loans for installing systems like solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Another way the state has improved the economics of solar in state is by passing a Solar Property Tax Exemption in 2013, which relieves homeowners of the increased property taxes associated with installing solar systems.